How to choose a domain name for your website

How to Choose the Right Domain Name and Extension for Your Website

This post originally appeared on Inbound Insiders, a new section on the Inbound Hub blog.

Well, you’ve done your market research (who knew there was such demand for a kielbasa manufacturer in Cleveland?), chosen your business name (“Greg’s Kielbasa” — after your grandfather!), and perfected your product anddelivery — Yum!

Now you’re planning a website that’ll have your potential customers’ mouths watering and distributors lining up around the corner. But there’s one step that can turn even the most confident of business owners into a waffling, indecisive pool of jelly: choosing the perfect domain name and extension.

There are plenty of different aspects to consider before selecting just any old name. So how do you ensure your website is represented by the best possible domain name and extension? First, a short lesson on how they came to be.

Domain Names & Extensions: A Brief History

Before 1984, when University of Wisconsin technicians developed a name server, there were no domain names, only numbers like to designate a website address. Imagine that on your business card!

Suddenly in 1985, domain names using the …

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How to make the most of your content offers

How to Make the Most of Your Ebook or Whitepaper – A Step By Step Guide

Creating downloadable Ebooks, whitepapers, templates, check lists, or other content offer with information so valuable that people would pay for it is a pillar of effective online marketing or “inbound” marketing. When you create remarkable and useful content, you’re able to build and segment your email lists for more effective marketing and lead follow-up.

But just how do you get from a content offer to a useful email list and lead nurturing process? And how do you get people to sign up for your offer?  This process can be overwhelming, but when you break it down step-by-step, nothing gets left out and your content can be a big success! So, let’s get started. You can also download a very detailed checklist here.

Promoting An Ebook or Whitepaper with Marketing Automation

You can promote your content with a combination of programs for landing pages, email and nuturing – and we’ll try to give you affordable options, but we prefer to use HubSpot. Not sure it’s worth the investment? Check out this …

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Why we will not turn off comments on our blog - a response to Copyblogger

Why We Will Not Turn Off Comments On Our Blog – A Response to Copyblogger

Yesterday, I was surprised to read that one of my favorite sites for online marketing tips and ideas, Copyblogger, is no longer going to allow comments on their blog. Their reasons were understandable, and maybe when my blog gets to the size of theirs, I’ll consider doing the same, but I doubt it. Here’s why I still welcome your comments on my blog.

We Want to Comment Right Here, Right Now

One argument Copyblogger makes is that comments really belong on social media. I get that. However, when I read a great blog post, I may have a question, compliment or something to add to the article. Right now. Ask me to go find you on Twitter or Facebook to comment, and I will get distracted by a hundred other things on the way – I promise. More than that, now I have to either find your update about the blog post and respond to that, or put my comment in context.

Assuming that your content is so fantastic that I’ll put forth that much effort is …

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Are you marketing with empathy - or contempt?

Are You Marketing with Empathy or with Contempt?

Yesterday I got a new lead from my website. As is my habit, I checked out the “What’s your biggest marketing challenge?” field first. He’d answered, “leads.” Great! We love it when a company puts a high value on leads – generating and nurturing them is our strong suit. Then I looked at his website and read a couple of blog posts. It became immediately apparent why he was having a struggle with leads – and why I don’t think I can help.

Here’s To All the “Idiots” “Morons” and “Dumb Souls” Out There

Yes, the two blog posts I read on his site, before leaving in disgust, used those exact phrases to describe customers, potential customers, and readers of his blog. Wow, if that’s what you think of me, let me become a lead right now so you can help me stop being such a moron!! Sorry, a little sarcasm got out there. Gotta watch that.

True, he did not call out any customer by name, but he gave more than enough details so …

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Content Marketing – Demystified

The internet may have made publishing content easy and affordable, but your prospects’ expectations have made it a necessity!  Despite warnings about impending “Content Shock,” people’s appetite for truly useful content has not diminished. If you are not giving them what they want, they will find someone who is. Then they’ll buy from them.

Last night, our little Wilmington Social Media Club was honored to have Melissa Pressley, Content Marketing Manager at the Wilmington Business Journal and Wilma magazine visit us and present, “You are a Publisher – So Start Acting Like One!”

If you’ve never been to a Social Media Club Meetup, put it on your calendar. As a co-organizer, I can tell you we’re not out to sell anything or promote any business. We’re here to help and because this stuff really gets us fired up! This meetup was packed – standing-room only.  So, what brought these business owners out on a Thursday night? The promise of an explanation of content marketing!

Of course, the practice of publishing …

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How to Write a Blog Post in an Hour or Less – Six Quick Tips

Impossible, you say? It may feel that way, especially if you tend to freeze under pressure. But, I am here, as a compulsive over-writer, to tell you that it can and SHOULD be done – at least on occasion.

A few weeks back I told the world I was going to attempt it. I got overwhelming positive support, which then turned up the pressure to get it done. Well, it took me nearly an hour to choose a topic, so the whole thing ended up taking closer to two, but it went over great. I think it was partly the fact that the topic was compelling and partly that it wasn’t overworked. That leads me to the first “write a blog post in an hour” tip.

Keep a Stash of Blog Post Topics

Nothing clears all good ideas out of a person’s head faster that this thought: “I have to write something, now!” So, don’t do that to yourself. During the week, you are sure to come across ideas that really speak to you, questions you know you …

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Do I really need a website, or can I get by on social media alone? via @scalablesocial

Five Reasons Social Media Won’t Replace Your Website

Here’s a question I see over and over in one form or another – “Do I really need a website? Can’t I reach just as many people – if not more, with social media?” After all, websites can be expensive and difficult to maintain for the average business owner.

I blame social media professionals for this misunderstanding (yes, I see the irony). In our enthusiasm to encourage people to embrace social media, we may have given the impression that social media is ALL you need. Truth is, it’s not. Here are five reasons why you can’t rely on social media to do the job of a website.

It Can All Go Away

If you look at my blog post, “How to Recover Your Facebook Business Page from Rogue or Clueless Employees,” and scroll down to the comments, you’ll see some sad stories. People who spend years and thousands of dollars to prop up their Facebook page, only to lose it when an employee or agency went bad, or when they broke Facebook’s rules and got shut down. That …

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How to (ethically) make money using affiliate marketing on your website or blog.

5 Steps to Monetize Your Blog With Affiliate Marketing

You’ve established your blog as an authoritative leader on a specific subject matter and developed a strong online persona.

Your content informs and entertains readers and provides value.

Since your loyal readers trust your voice, they’ll trust your product and service recommendations.

Affiliate marketing can monetize your site while still maintaining content integrity. You earn commission by promoting a brand’s product or services on your site and driving buyers to that brand.

Follow these steps while you embark on affiliate marketing and advertising:

Partner with Relevant Affiliate Programs

The more an affiliate ad relates to your content, the more likely a reader will click on it. When a site visitor clicks on the ad to sign up for something or make a purchase, you get paid. Novice bloggers on the road to monetization should start with Amazon Associates, recommends Mashable. Amazon commissions can range between 4 and 15 percent. Pro Blogger highlights the affiliate programs LinkShare, Commission Junction, ShareASale, and Google Affiliate Network.

Invest in Affiliate Aggregator Service

VigLink connects to more than 30,000 affiliate programs and …

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Content Hacks eBook

Content Marketing Hacks – 34 Time-Saving Tips and Tools

No time for content? Let’s hack it!

We understand. Creating high-quality content on a consistent basis is incredibly time-consuming. But if we want to keep the traffic and leads coming in, we have to keep creating more and more!

Sometimes it isn’t about the time. It mighbe be that your company currently lacks the as the resources and people-power to get it done. This doesn’t have to be a deal-breaker for you!

To help make your marketing life a little easier, we present a collaborative eBook from us, HubSpot, and a bunch of smart marketers. We all shared our favorite “secret content weapon” tips. Those tips that help us out when:

We can’t think of what to write We can’t come up with a killer title We need to come up with great content fast Our design mojo left the office at noon.

From planning and writing to designing and more, you’ll learn what the pros use to make the most of their time with topics such as:

“Turn client questions into content topics.” (#2) “Beat writer’s block with …

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Who owns that blog post? The Writer? The agency?

Content Ownership – Who Owns That Blog Post?

As an agency, you pay for content to promote your business (smart move). Once you pay for it, you assume it’s yours and it will not be resold or republished by the writer. You probably never gave it another thought.

As a writer, you pour your heart into the best blog post EVER. Your company or client publishes it on their blog with your byline, maybe even with your photo, and pays you for it. Maybe you add it to your LinkedIn publications or share a link to it on Twitter. Maybe not.

But, who owns it now? What happens when an employer supplies content to other companies? Can they claim the content as their own? And, who SHOULD own it?

As someone on both sides of the issue (I’m a writer for a business I co-own and I hire writers to supply content to our clients), this is of interest to me, though it’s never been a matter of contention with our awesome writers or my fabulous business partner.

In fact, one of my writers asked me if it …

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